SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Shandong Nanshan (China)
Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Shandong Nanshan is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation,
increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, etc
SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Shandong Nanshan can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Shandong Nanshan, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Shandong Nanshan operates in.
According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.
SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix
SWOT analysis of Shandong Nanshan can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Shandong Nanshan
2. Improving business portfolio management of Shandong Nanshan
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in China
4. Making a Metal Mining sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Shandong Nanshan
Strengths of Shandong Nanshan | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The strengths of Shandong Nanshan are -
- Shandong Nanshan is a learning organization. It has inculcated three key characters of learning organization in its processes and operations – exploration, creativity, and expansiveness. The work place at Shandong Nanshan is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Shandong Nanshan emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.
Highly skilled collaborators
– Shandong Nanshan has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Metal Mining industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Shandong Nanshan have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.
Cross disciplinary teams
– Horizontal connected teams at the Shandong Nanshan are driving operational speed, building greater agility, and keeping the organization nimble to compete with new competitors. It helps are organization to ideate new ideas, and execute them swiftly in the marketplace.
Sustainable margins compare to other players in Metal Mining industry
– Shandong Nanshan has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Shandong Nanshan to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Metal Mining industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Shandong Nanshan to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.
– Shandong Nanshan is putting a lot of focus on utilizing the power of analytics in business decision making. This has put it among the leading players in the Metal Mining industry. The technology infrastructure of China is also helping it to harness the power of analytics for – marketing optimization, demand forecasting, customer relationship management, inventory management, information sharing across the value chain etc.
Organizational Resilience of Shandong Nanshan
– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing Shandong Nanshan does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.
Diverse revenue streams
– Shandong Nanshan is present in almost all the verticals within the Metal Mining industry. This has provided Shandong Nanshan a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.
Low bargaining power of suppliers
– Suppliers of Shandong Nanshan in the Basic Materials sector have low bargaining power. Shandong Nanshan has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Shandong Nanshan to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.
Ability to recruit top talent
– Shandong Nanshan is one of the leading players in the Metal Mining industry in China. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in China. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.
Superior customer experience
– The customer experience strategy of Shandong Nanshan in Metal Mining industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.
Effective Research and Development (R&D)
– Shandong Nanshan has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Shandong Nanshan staying ahead in the Metal Mining industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.
Successful track record of launching new products
– Shandong Nanshan has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Shandong Nanshan has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.
Weaknesses of Shandong Nanshan | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of Shandong Nanshan are -
Employees’ less understanding of Shandong Nanshan strategy
– From the outside it seems that the employees of Shandong Nanshan don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.
Slow to strategic competitive environment developments
– As Shandong Nanshan is one of the leading players in the Metal Mining industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Metal Mining industry in last five years.
Increasing silos among functional specialists
– The organizational structure of Shandong Nanshan is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Metal Mining industry, but Shandong Nanshan needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Shandong Nanshan to focus more on services in the Metal Mining industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.
Low market penetration in new markets
– Outside its home market of China, Shandong Nanshan needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.
Aligning sales with marketing
– From the outside it seems that Shandong Nanshan needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Metal Mining industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Shandong Nanshan can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Shandong Nanshan is planning to shift buying processes online.
High dependence on existing supply chain
– The disruption in the global supply chains because of the Covid-19 pandemic and blockage of the Suez Canal illustrated the fragile nature of Shandong Nanshan supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Shandong Nanshan is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Shandong Nanshan vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.
Slow to harness new channels of communication
– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Shandong Nanshan is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Shandong Nanshan to provide better information regarding Metal Mining products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.
High bargaining power of channel partners in Metal Mining industry
– because of the regulatory requirements in China, Shandong Nanshan is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the Metal Mining industry.
Skills based hiring in Metal Mining industry
– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Shandong Nanshan has created an environment where the organization is dominated by functional specialists rather than management generalist. This has resulted into product oriented approach rather than marketing oriented approach or consumers oriented approach.
No frontier risks strategy
– From the 10K / annual statement of Shandong Nanshan, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Metal Mining industry. But it has very little resources allocation to manage the risks emerging from events such as natural disasters, climate change, melting of permafrost, tacking the rise of artificial intelligence, opportunities and threats emerging from commercialization of space etc.
Compensation and incentives
– The revenue per employee of Shandong Nanshan is just above the Metal Mining industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.
Shandong Nanshan Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of Shandong Nanshan are -
Increase in government spending
– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Shandong Nanshan can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Shandong Nanshan operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Metal Mining sector.
Low interest rates
– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Shandong Nanshan can still utilize the low interest rates to borrow money for capital investment. Secondly it can also use the increase of government spending in infrastructure projects to get new business.
Creating value in data economy
– The success of analytics program of Shandong Nanshan has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Metal Mining industry. This can help Shandong Nanshan to build a more holistic ecosystem for Shandong Nanshan products in the Metal Mining industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.
Identify volunteer opportunities
– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. Shandong Nanshan can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.
Leveraging digital technologies
– Shandong Nanshan can leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production process, customer analytics to get better insights into consumer behavior, realtime digital dashboards to get better sales tracking, logistics and transportation, product tracking, etc.
Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains
– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Shandong Nanshan can build a diversified supply chain model across various countries in - South East Asia, India, and other parts of the world. This reconfiguration of global supply chain can help Shandong Nanshan to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.
Reforming the budgeting process
- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Shandong Nanshan can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.
Lowering marketing communication costs
– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Shandong Nanshan in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Metal Mining industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.
Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities
– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Shandong Nanshan to expand its talent hiring zone. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 20% of the high end workforce in fields such as finance, information technology, can continously work from remote local post Covid-19. This presents a really great opportunity for Shandong Nanshan to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.
Using analytics as competitive advantage
– Shandong Nanshan has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Metal Mining sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Shandong Nanshan to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Shandong Nanshan to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.
Reconfiguring business model
– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help Shandong Nanshan to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.
– Shandong Nanshan can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Metal Mining sector. It can use CAD and 3D printing to build a quick prototype and pilot testing products. It can leverage automation using machine learning and artificial intelligence to do faster production at lowers costs, and it can leverage the growth in satellite and tracking technologies to improve inventory management, transportation, and shipping.
Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19
– consumer behavior has changed in the Metal Mining industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Shandong Nanshan can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. Shandong Nanshan can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.
Threats Shandong Nanshan External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of Shandong Nanshan are -
Increasing wage structure of Shandong Nanshan
– Post Covid-19 there is a sharp increase in the wages especially in the jobs that require interaction with people. The increasing wages can put downward pressure on the margins of Shandong Nanshan.
Consumer confidence and its impact on Shandong Nanshan demand
– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Metal Mining industry and other sectors.
– Shandong Nanshan needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. Shandong Nanshan can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Metal Mining industry.
Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc
– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.
Barriers of entry lowering
– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Metal Mining industry are lowering. It can presents Shandong Nanshan with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Metal Mining sector.
– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for Shandong Nanshan in the Metal Mining sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.
High level of anxiety and lack of motivation
– the Great Resignation in United States is the sign of broader dissatisfaction among the workforce in United States. Shandong Nanshan needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Metal Mining industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.
Trade war between China and United States
– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Shandong Nanshan in Metal Mining industry. The Metal Mining industry is already at various protected from local competition in China, with the rise of trade war the protection levels may go up. This presents a clear threat of current business model in Chinese market.
Easy access to finance
– Easy access to finance in Metal Mining industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Shandong Nanshan can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.
Instability in the European markets
– European Union markets are facing three big challenges post Covid – expanded balance sheets, Brexit related business disruption, and aggressive Russia looking to distract the existing security mechanism. Shandong Nanshan will face different problems in different parts of Europe. For example it will face inflationary pressures in UK, France, and Germany, balance sheet expansion and demand challenges in Southern European countries, and geopolitical instability in the Eastern Europe.
Backlash against dominant players
– US Congress and other legislative arms of the government are getting tough on big business especially technology companies. The digital arm of Shandong Nanshan business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.
Capital market disruption
– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of Shandong Nanshan.
Learning curve for new practices
– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Shandong Nanshan may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Metal Mining sector.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of Shandong Nanshan Template, Example
Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Shandong Nanshan needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants.
We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –
First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of Shandong Nanshan is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.
Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of Shandong Nanshan is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.
Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of Shandong Nanshan to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that Shandong Nanshan needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.